Taking a moment to acknowledge, learn, and come back stronger

Since our last blog, the world has turned upside down. We have all stayed in our homes during Lockdown, we are watching as the UK starts to emerge from this and we are witnessing and part of a moment in history where Black Lives Matter has risen to the forefront of the news and our conversations.

In light of this, it would be inappropriate to not acknowledge what has been happening. This is a tough time where we are all thinking about what is important to us, what we would fight for and what we would clap for. There has been a real sense of community and also division and under all this, anxiety over the invisible threat of Covid-19.

This pause in normal operations has given us time to think about how we operate as a team and what are the things we, our audiences and our participants really care about. As an organisation we have been supporting each other as staff, reaching out to our communities to see what we can do to lift spirits or actively help, and talking. Lots of talking. Talking about what we do now, and what we will do, and what we want to do.  And there is more talking to come.

We talked about our privilege, that we are the current custodians of a company that is nearly 40 years old and have a platform that we share with others. Can we wriggle along and make more room? Lots more to talk about, digest, reflect and act on.

This is not an easy time for anyone, and theatre is going to be near the bottom of the pile for regaining some kind of new normal because of the need for proximity for creatives, audiences and participants. But when we can throw open our doors we will do it from a place of strength, positivity and eyes to the future.

“I miss coming into the building The Forest Forge it’s like a spiritual home full of kindness and creativity.” Act Your Age member.

“I miss the kid who comes home with sparkling eyes and big gestures who can’t stop talking about the huge plans they have for what they are going to do next week, or for the performance. I miss that enthusiasm that Forest Forge sparks.” Youth Theatre Parent